Turn playtime into a realistic ice cream parlor, but without the melting mess!
The latest playset from Spin Master’s Kinetic Sand line sees this sensory toy take the form — and aroma — of an ice cream shop. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, the Kinetic Sand Scents Ice Cream Treats set comes with multiple ways to create and display sweet treats.
Each box includes three bags of scented kinetic sand: pink (strawberry), brown (chocolate), and white (vanilla). For those who aren’t familiar, Kinetic Sand — made of 98% ultra-fine grain sand, combined with 2% dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) — has the feel of sand while keeping its shape like a dough. The more kids squeeze the sand, the tighter the hold and form get.
Each color of sand is also scented to match the flavor it represents. The strawberry and chocolate scents smell identical to the real flavors, adding an even stronger sensory experience to the play session.
The set includes a variety of accessories, too, to help kids craft their ice cream creations. There is a sand tray in the shape of an ice cream tray, a sundae cup, a cone, a scooper, a waffle press that kids can turn into a cookie press, and six decorations to put on the ice cream. This means that kids have endless options when it comes to creating vibrant, colored treats. For the set up, put each bag of sand in the correct tray, as indicated by an image of the flavor. Then, kids can use the scooper to get some of their desired color. It works just as well as a regular ice cream scooper — the sand comes right off into a perfect sphere shape!
Creating an ice cream cone or sundae is simple: just a few scoops and decorations on top, and you have ice cream! If kids want to add something special, the waffle press has a mold for dripping fudge to put on top of a sundae creation. The sand holds together perfectly in the cone, and the molds stay together, too.
The waffle/cookie press is also a lot more realistic than I thought it would be. Make sure to grab thick pieces of sand to press the cookie of your choice down. Then, scoop up some ice cream to create a sturdy-yet-melty cookie-wich. Be prepared to have the sand form together while making this culinary masterpiece, as the cookie sand will mesh with the ice cream sand. As a general rule when playing with Kinetic Sand, mix colors with caution, because there is no way to un-mix them.
This is a great set because it not only makes a great sensory toy, but it also encourages imaginative play and creativity. Kids making fake food for their families is a play pattern as old as time, but the Kinetic Sand’s simplicity and sensory dynamics allow for a more interactive approach to the tradition. Kids can hand over what they made without it falling apart or being flimsy, but then they can give it a satisfying squish moments later! The smell also adds to the experience of pretending to be in an ice cream shop — it’s strong, but not overpowering.
Unlike a realistic ice cream experience, the clean-up is easy. Make sure that kids play on a wipeable surface, or have a towel down while playing to catch little sand scraps. However, the sand comes out of the cones and holders with no problem. I didn’t even wash the trays and they looked new after each use.
This affordable set will add a sweet spark of creativity and sensory fun to play. Scoop up some fun with Kinetic Sand!